Rain Barrels & Gardens

Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens are popular ways to treat and properly manage stormwater run-off on personal property.

A rain barrel is a rainwater storage system that is connected to a downspout from a house or building. A rain barrel collects and stores rooftop runoff. A rain garden is an attractive, landscaped area typically planted with perennial native plants build in depressions which are designed to capture and filter stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces around the home, such as rooftops and driveways. Both types of water conservation help alleviate problems associated with flooding and drainage. The following documents are helpful resources about rain barrels, and rain gardens.



Wayne SWCD - Rain Barrels;

Wayne SWCD - Painting your Rain Barrel;

Southwest Florida Water Management District - Rain Barrels - A Homeowner's Guide; Many people ask where to get rain barrels. They can be purchased during our annual tree sale, you can search & buy them online, or the cheapest way is to make your own rain barrel. Our goal is water conservation! Below are a few YouTube videos on how to make your own rain barrel, followed by PDF documents with suggestions as well. Good Luck!

YouTube Video - Uses a planting basket - 6 ¼“ for filter on top;

YouTube Video (HGTV) - Bung on bottom, 3” hole top with window screen;

YouTube Video - 4” downspout adapter on top, vents & screen underneath;

YouTube Video (Penn State) - Uses atrium grate & drain sleeve on top for filter;

YouTube Video - Uses 8” round black grate on top –finishes with camo painting;

YouTube Video (Fort Hays student) - Uses PVC adapter (4” to 3”), cut over bung;

City of Bremerton, WA - How to Make Your Own Rain Barrel;

AWARE from Mahoning SWCD - Rain Barrels & Assembly;

Design Facts - Catch the rain that would have washed away;

Stark SWCD - Rain Barrel Installation Guide & How to install an Overflow Valve.


Geauga SWCD - Rain Garden Manual for Homeowners;

University of Wisconsin - Rain Gardens -A household way to improve water quality in your community;

Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, WI - Build your own Rain Garden;

Wayne SWCD - Helpful websites for Rain Gardens and Plants;

Virginia Department of Forestry - Rain Gardens - A Technical Guide;

Great Lakes Region, (Raingardens.org) - Rain Gardens for Pro Home Landscapes;

Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities - Rain Gardens - A How to Guide;

Blue Thumb - Native Plants for Gardens, Rain gardens, & Shoreline Stabilization;

Warren SWCD - Rain Garden Flowers

Suggested Rain Garden Plants for Ohio

Great information from Warren County SWCD

Soil moisture preferences: D = dry, M = medium, W= wet

Common Name / Botanical Name

Arrowhead / Sagittaria latifolia (W)

  • prefers full to partial sun and blooms white

Blazing Star / Liatris spicata (M)

  • prefers sun and blooms purple-pink

Blueberries / Vaccinium sp. (M-D)

  • prefers full to part sun and has red fall foliage

Blue Flag Iris / Iris versicolor (W)

  • prefers sun and blooms blue

Brown Eyed Susan / Rudbeckia trilob (M)

  • prefers full to partial sun and blooms yellow

Butterflyweed / Asclepias tuberosa (D)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms orange

Columbine / Aquilegia canadensis (M)

  • prefers shade and blooms scarlet or yellow

Cup Plant / Silphium perfoliatum (M)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms yellow

Forget-me-not / Myosotis sylvatica (W)

  • prefers full sun to partial shade and blooms blue

Great Blue Lobelia / Lobelia siphilitica (W)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms blue

Joe-Pye Weed / Eupatorium purpureum (D)

  • prefers sun and blooms rose to pink

Little Bluestem / Schizachyrium scoparium (grass) (D)

  • prefers full sun and blooms yellow to red

Mountain-laurel / Kalmia latifolia (M)

  • prefers partial to full sun, evergreen shrub with pink flower clusters

Nannyberry / Viburnum lentago (M)

  • prefers full sun, small deciduous shrub with small white flowers and blue-black fruit

New England Aster / Aster novae-anglia (W)

  • prefers sun and blooms pink or purplish

Ohio Spiderwort / Tradescantia ohiensis (M)

  • prefers partial shade and blooms blue-violet

Prairie Cord Grass / Spartina pectinata (W)

  • prefers full sun and blooms green or gold

Prairie Dock / Silphium terebinthinaceum (D)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms yellow

Purple Coneflower / Echinacea purpurea (D)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms purple

Red Twig Dogwood / Cornus sericia (D-W)

  • deciduous shrub with small white flowers

Royal Catchfly / Silene regia (D)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms red

Shasta Daisy / Chrysanthemum maximum (M)

  • prefers full sun and blooms white

Shining Sumac / Rhus copallinum (D)

  • prefers full sun, deciduous shrub with clusters of dark red fruit

Sneezeweed / Helenium atumnale (W)

  • prefers full to partial sun and blooms yellow

Smooth Aster / Aster laevis (D)

  • prefers sun and blooms blue

Stalk-Grain Sedge / Carex stipata (W)

  • prefers sun to light shade and blooms green

Swamp Milkweed / Asclepias incarnata (W)

  • prefers sun and blooms red-pink

Sweet Black Eyed Susan / Rudbeckia subtomentosa


  • prefers full to part sun and blooms yellow

White Turtlehead / Chelone glabra (W)

  • prefers sun and blooms white to purple

Wild Bergamot / Monarda fistulosa (D)

  • prefers full to part sun and blooms lavender

Wild Geranium / Geranium maculatum (M)

  • prefers full shade to partial sun and blooms pink